There could be trouble brewing in Bangladesh's readymade garment (RMG) sector after a forum of the sector's workers publicized its demand for raising minimum wage to Tk 15,000 ($191) a month against the current rate of Tk 5,300 ($67), a Bangladeshi website has reported.
The forum said its demand for Tk 15,000 minimum wage is based on basic nutrition requirements at current food prices.
Raising the demand at a discussion in Dhaka, speakers of the forum referred to a study by Dhaka University's Food and Nutrition Science Institute which said an adult male, for an average 10-hour workday, needed at least 3,364 calories and an adult female 2,406 calories.
According to the forum's calculations, a family of five needs around Tk 24,500 a month for food and other ancillary expenses.
Among the speakers were Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) President Mujahidul Islam Selim, Bangladesher Samajtandrik Dal (BaSaD) leader Khalequzzaman, National Committee to Protect Oil Gas Mineral Resources Power and Ports Member Secretary Anu Muhammad.
Accusing the government of being 'negligent' about workers, CPB chief Selim said, “The government has set the salary of its own peons (office assistants) at Tk 13,800.”
“Garment workers are more skilled. The government should set Tk 15,000 as the minimum wage for the workers,” he added.
Khalequzzaman urged all worker bodies to unite against salary discrimination, pointing out that while a worker in the US gets a minimum wage of $15 per hour but, in Bangladesh, a worker can be hired for Tk 5,300 ($67) a month. (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India